An Indefinable Word: In light of personal experience, ‘bravery’ worth going beyond dictionary terms, social expectations

By: Sierra Steen

Everyone views bravery differently, whether drawing their own meaning from personal experience or from seeing others live it.

One thing that we need to get straight is that bravery has no connotation with fear. You can be deathly afraid of something and still go for it, and even if you’re still afraid afterwards, knowing that you went out of your own comfort zone is something to be proud of.

I decided to ask a few people very close to me what they feel bravery is. A few of the answers lined up perfectly, saying that it is standing up for what you believe in even in the face of judgement. Bravery to them is being resilient, having a certain toughness to them that helps them recover from downfalls. It is doing something that terrifies you, yet you continue to do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.

Some people told me that it is not just facing fear, but conquering it. It is chasing after a goal and fighting the obstacles in order to get what you desire.

My little brother told me that superheroes are brave, but what exactly makes a superhero brave? Is it the way they risk their lives to save the city, their dazzling superpowers or even just the myths surrounding them?

I think the answer lies in another response given to me. I was told that being brave is a lot like being a leader, except not all leaders are heroic. Brave people don’t need capes and laser visions to be leaders. They only need leadership skills and a desire to stand up against the odds. Trying new things and working with new dynamics plus a flexible personality that can work in many different situations is a true example of a brave leader in many eyes.

The point being here is that bravery doesn’t have a face, nor does it have a certain skill set. If you can accomplish something even when an outside force is pushing you down, then you are brave in my eyes.

Bravery cannot be simply defined by a few words in a dictionary. Bravery is something you feel and see. It’s something that has varying meaning to every single person in the world, and if you want to see for yourself, do what I did and ask others what they think it means to be brave — you just might end up finding out a lot about somebody’s personal strife, goals or personality.

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